The Dartmouth Observer

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Sunday, September 01, 2002
 
John Stevenson posted:Should being a minority cause one to symphathize with leftist/ progressive methods of ensuring "justice?"


The problem I have as a "minority" is that leftist/progressive methods and ideas concerning "justice" are aimed at correcting social ills with legislative action. Moreover, these social ills are defined in terms of class struggle, which was an idea hatched in England at the height of the ideas of "station" and Social Darwanism; something of a contrast from the way American society is ordered according to the law. The 14th, 15th Amendments, and the 1964 Civil Rights Act allege that we are all equal before the law, individually. So, at least legally and in theory, we all have the freedom of opportunity to do as we wish with our lives. Frankly, the idea that white males in this country (who presumably are in the minority when opposed to white females, all blacks, asians, Latinos, etc) are systematically succeeding due to some shadow empire of "privilege" smacks of the conspiracy theories surrounding the Free Masons and anti-Semitism earlier this past century. So long as the class-struggle paradigm is artificially imposed on this country, those calling for legislative correction to "problems of the proletariat and starving masses" will continue to enjoy support.

As to the left-wing bias in the faculty of Dartmouth and at other institutions, their individual ideas and philosophies are not the problem. The problem is created when this ideas are advocated and the climate for intellectual exchange is made uncomfortable or "unsafe" for those whose ideas differ from the dominant. The most recent vote by the faculty to abolish the greek system would not be symptomatic of a disease plaguing the academy if the vote was 300-20. Rather, we must ask, why did not even one professor vote in opposition? Where were the devil's advocates? Was the whole idea of the vote thought stupid by the majority of professors in the first place? Did any in opposition fear being ostracized, or worse having their careers affected if they had opposed?